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Top 8 Results Thoughts and Discussion

My live thoughts and yours, too. Excited to see what All-Stars we’ll have next week. I just realized that Jaimie Godwin was supposed to be an All-Star this week and I guess she was replaced by Allison. I must’ve missed something – did they explain why Jaimie wasn’t on last night? Maybe they’ll say something tonight.

LOOOOOVED Tyce’s Top 8 routine! It’s routines like this that remind me what he’s capable of and make me even more annoyed with his lackluster choreo. It had hints of Wade and Sonya and was just so fun and cool and was a great opportunity for the dancers (especially Jess, as the ringmaster).

I also love Cat’s dress, especially the sleeves. Gorgeous.

Rob Marshall really nailed it when he said that SYTYCD puts dancers back in the center of attention, rather than in the background. That’s what I love about the show, too. Or at least part of it.

It’s cruel that they went to break without saying which of the four girls is in the bottom! Fine, keep us on edge, but soooo mean to the dancers.

Spoiler space for the rest…

Well, I was right about the girls. Melanie and Sasha are safe and Caitlynn and Jordan are in the Bottom Four.

Oh my gawd, I almost lost it watching that little clip of Marko’s mom hugging him backstage. I think he almost lost it too, judging by his face when they went to him on stage. Not surprised Marko’s safe and Jess is in the bottom, but I have to say I loved Jess peeling off his shit as he strolled off stage. Okay, I kinda like him a tiny bit more and more each week. πŸ™‚

I *am* surprised that Rickey is safe and Tadd is in the Bottom 4, but maybe I shouldn’t be after some of your comments lately that he seems arrogant. I don’t see it myself, but apparently enough people do to put him in danger.

LXD always makes my day. It was nice to see Christopher Scott dancing on the SYTYCD stage, too. And, am I crazy or was that Ashley Galvan in the line of dancers?

The National Dance Day segment was really fun.

Jordan’s solo was her best, I think, but the leg extensions were still prominent, of course. Jess’s solo was full of character and entertaining. BUT, I thought Caitlynn really danced her best solo yet and that it was better than Jordan’s. I hope the judges agree and keep her! Tadd’s was clearly the best, full of character and performance. Love the song, love the tricks, love the whole attitude. He has some of the best solos.

Liked Lady Gaga’s performance, but most especially seeing Mark dancing with her so prominently.

Whew! Glad Caitlynn is safe. I thought Nigel was really respectful and nice to give such a positive build up to cutting Jordan. I’m surprised the judges could bear to cut Jess, but Tadd really earned it with his solo. He threw everything he had onto that stage.

The goodbye sequences made me realize two things
-I liked some of Jordan’s performances more than I remember (the bed hip hop with Tadd namely)
-I warmed up to Jess right as he was leaving.

They never announced the All-Stars for next week. Hmmm….

What do y’all think??

July 28, 2011 I Written By

Top 10 Results Thoughts and Discussion

Here are my live thoughts on tonight’s Top 10/All-Star results episode. I hope you’ll join the discussion, too!

The Top 10 group Broadway routine was cool in some parts, but felt kinda loose and empty in some places. I’m not familiar with the choreographer’s work, so I don’t know if this is typical of his style. Anybody? Was it just me or was there a lot of little wobbles and out of unison moments? Was that Clarice off the the right in the back and really off in the beginning? I really liked the Chorus Line-esque gold hats and unison bits at the end, though.

I’m bummed that they’re still cutting 1 guy and 1 girl and Amanda is confused that the judges are still apparently in control of the fates of the Bottom 4 (got that wrong in the Power Rankings, yesterday).

Here’s a spoiler space as I start to talk about the results…

Read more..

July 21, 2011 I Written By

Top 12 Results Thoughts and Discussion

I’m going to jump right in with my live thoughts. Please jump in, too, and add your thoughts in the comments!

First, I really liked the Kelly Abbey El Fuego Top 12 Group routine. It was a nice mashup of styles and I was actually thinking it might’ve been a Christopher Scott routine. I wondered why Jordan got the central role at the opening and so much face time, but she was gorgeous in the huge red skirt, to be sure. I loved the tapping and then the guys sweeping and also them all linking up to tango a bit. (I don’t know the technical name for that, hope you know what I mean).

I’m proud of SYTYCD for their 8 Emmy nominations and I loooved the clip of the routines that were nominated. Such good routines.

Spoiler line for the rest, just in case…

Read more..

July 14, 2011 I Written By

SYTYCD Season 7 Top 7 Performance Thoughts/Power Ranking

Well, this is the first week where predicting tomorrow’s result is easy…but typing it is difficult. Coming to terms with it is difficult.

Top Two

Kent – He had a great night. He really delivered energy and personality (and skillz!) next to Neil. I don’t think he outdanced Neil as Nigel claimed, but he definitely kept up. And he did what I thought was impossible and developed some real chemistry with Adechike in a great male-male contemporary. He’s maturing, but still keeping his personality, which is the right combination with this show. The cheers are so loud while he dances that I don’t know how he hears the music. He’s safe.

Lauren – She gets a lot of flak, but since my only sorta formal dance training is in belly dance, I have to say that the stuff she did in that Tahitian dance is HARD! You have to have incredible core control to do all of the thigh/knee stuff she was doing (she was doing shimmies while crouching, with her legs at different angles! Normally, you take a pretty solid stance when shimming, that would’ve put a lot of strain on her stomach and back, but it was all really smooth.) Not to mention she kept the tail on her costume bumping and that is seriously hard to sustain. The really impressive part is that no part of her body or face was telegraphing how hard she was working to do that. As impressive as I found all of that (I barely looked at Mark and that’s SAYING something), the real winner of the night was her Mandy Moore jazz with Billy. These two should dance together for the rest of their lives. I totally saw what Cat said about Judy Garland/Mickey Rooney. It was so effervescent and fluid and just fun. Loooooved it. Lauren can be really annoying in her interviews, but she continues to impress me with her dancing.

Middle Two

Billy – He’s been getting a lot of flak lately, too, after being a huge early fan favorite. He gained something back tonight he’s been missing for a while. He was so relaxed. He seemed to be enjoying himself – just plain enjoying himself and that brought back the Billy that I love. He had jive with Anya and was a strong, matched partner to her. They had great chemistry, which hasn’t been his strong suit lately. But, of course, the second of his routines, with Lauren, was just incredible, as I mentioned above.

Robert – I think every single one of his fans are going to take nothing for granted and VOTE like crazy to keep him out of the Bottom 3. He’s been there too often. There’s a good chance he’ll be there again, but I think he’ll be saved by Ashley going home due to her injury. As for his routines – I really liked the Travis Wall contemporary, but I think that the judges/producers tried to hard to make an “Emmy moment” out of it because it was about Travis’s mother’s illness and it was so heartfelt. That almost ruined it for me. It was very reminiscent of Tyce’s breast cancer peace, in my opinion. Especially the opening walk of the two characters. I absolutely adored the walk at the end and the symbolism behind it, but while I think it was well-danced by Allison and Robert, I think Travis has deserved an Emmy more with other routines. I’m glad he shared something so personal with us, but I resented being told to feel about it. I felt the same way with Tyce’s breast cancer piece, actually, and liked it more when I saw it on SYTYCD UK with less fanfare. His disco with Kathryn was a lot of fun. It had it’s problem spots but when you consider they probably only had a day or so to practice together, very good.

Bottom Three

Ashley – is in the EXACT same place Alex was last week. The same place Jessica King was in a few years ago. If her injury is what I’ve heard it is… she’s almost 100% going home tonight. Which makes me very, very sad because she quickly became my favorite once the performance shows started.

Adechike – Okay, so Chike hasn’t been getting much love from me. I’ve acknowledged that he’s a great dancer, but I feel that he doesn’t connect to his partners. His salsa with Anya was horrific – even though there were tiny patches that were pretty incredible. However, I *finally* saw what everyone else sees in him when he danced contemporary with Kent. He had chemistry with Kent!! I loooved this Dee Caspary routine. I thought Chike was so comfortable with Kent in the interview and that really played out in their performance. It was the first time I thought he got everything right. However… I think it’s too little too late. It’s only one solid performance in a night with two performances and after a pretty lackluster season. I think there’s gonna be some Chike backlash this week after all the gossip and controversy. I think he’ll be safe though, since Ashley’s almost certainly going home.

Jose – If Ashley weren’t surely going home, I’d bee 98% certain that this was Jose’s week to leave us. He was flat and unimpressive in his Broadway and he disappointed in his own style next to All-Star Dominic. I found the routine entertaining (the breaking), but it wasn’t everything it was built up to be. Just as Jose is not everything he’s been built up to be. Even the judges had to admit, after his Broadway, that he needs training and polish. He needs to layer dance on top of his gymnastics and tricking.

Some last thoughts before I go –

-I looove that Cat is speaking up more about her opinions. Her comments re: Billy and Lauren reminding her of Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland was spot on. πŸ™‚

-I kinda liked the disco tonight and there were lots of crazy hard things in there. But…isn’t there at least one single other disco choreographer in the entire world? I’m very tired of Doreana Sanchez’s choreography. And here’s why – I think the style is already so limited that to have just one choreographer makes it very, very boring. It’s basically all the same routine!! And if there aren’t any other choreographers for disco, maybe that’s a hint that the style is played out. Dry. Done.

-We had a lot of male-male numbers tonight (what with Ashley out and Lauren being the last girl in the race, likely) and they were doozies! Loved Kent and Neil’s baseball routine! As well as Kent and Adechike’s contemporary. The Jose/Dom “battle” was aiiiright. Until they made Dom bow to Jose and I was just.not.cool.with.that. S’okay. We all saw who left with the sword. πŸ™‚

-I think it took changing all the rules for the producers and all of us to realize what we love best about the show. I’m glad we’ve had this mix-up because it’s shown us that bringing back All-Stars and same-gender routines really do work. But it’s also shown us that we really like seeing the contestants grow together in partnerships and that the producers need to be careful not to overproduce = manipulate us. If they can even help it at this point.

– I’m *very* sad I didn’t get to see Ashley dance this week and that she’ll probably be leaving.

-It was a good week for dance, even if Alex wasn’t there. I think a lot of the dancers realized they could actually win and kicked it up a notch this week. It’s a weird season. All the rules changed and now all bets are off.

July 14, 2010 I Written By

SYTYCD S7 Top 8 Performance Thoughts/Power Rankings

I don’t know why I’m surprised that predicting the Bottom 3 isn’t getting any easier or that it’s only getting harder to lose these dancers. But I am. Still, every week, I continue to be amazed at how hard this is and how much harder it’s getting.

Even though I had one of the Bottom 3 handed to me, I am NOT happy about putting his name there, fyi. I hope Alex can stay on the show, but I think we all agree the important thing is that he gets healthy for his long-term career.

And here we go…

Top Three

Kent – I’d probably put Lauren in #1 spot, but her personality seems to annoy some people and Kent has TONS of fans, so #1 for him. His routines with Comfort and Lauren were both well-danced and fun. He had a very undramatic night and got lots of compliments on his “growth” and for dancing small (which mean he grew) rather than overlarge. In a very dramatic night, he made it through the fire unscathed and standing strong.

Lauren – She had an amazing (undramatic) night as well and danced excellently. I think her personality is polarizing – she tries for quirky and cute, but her comments come off to a lot of people as self-absorbed and cocky. However, I really enjoy her dancing and I think she is maturing in leaps in bounds. Her cha cha with Pasha was stellar – like, just the definition of sexy. She was like water dancing with him. I think she studied videos of Anya and Pasha dancing together to figure out how to match Pasha. And while her contemporary with Kent might not be the best we’ve ever seen on the show, it was very striking. I particularly loved that these two young, exuberant dancers were given a serious, beautiful routine and were able to dance it maturely.

Ashley – I’m loving her more each week. She had a great hip-hop with Dominic and while I know that the quickstep is supposed to doom dancers, I quite enjoyed hers with Robert. I liked the incongruence between the dance and the music. I thought it was edgy and enjoyable. I think she’s picking up steam fan-wise and that she had such a good routine with Dom that she’s probably safe. I think we’ve realized it’s time to start picking on some of the guys finally. Judging from the comments, two in particular.

Middle Three

Billy – Danced a solid Broadway with Katee. I enjoyed it and I agree that it’s some of his best dancing. Broadway fans, don’t tar and feather me for this, buuuut it seems like Broadway is like ballroom in that it is sometimes not dynamic for a large part of the audience. It was earlier in the evening and even with having Katee back, I think Billy’s first routine kinda got lost in the shuffle. His Afro-jazz with Adechike was underwhelming. It should’ve been great, but as it was, it was just underwhelming…

Robert – There’s a chance Robert might be in the Bottom 3 again and will go home (because he’s been there before). I’m putting him at the bottom of the middle because I’m hoping that’s NOT the case. I love Robert. There’s a lot of talk about whether the judges were trying to “save” him by coming down hard on Adechike instead of him but I thought they were unnecessarily hard on him and Ashely for their quickstep. Just because it’s gained a reputation DOES NOT mean we have to critique it as if it was bad when it was enjoyable. And I swear Nigel was pulling out technical points with the quickstep when he hadn’t really been all that technical with others (ahem, Jose and Adechike). I enjoyed the hell out of the jazz with Kathryn – I thought they were the perfect dancers for it. While watching it again, I could see some awkwardness, especially with lifts. The first time, I didn’t see any of it though because I was so charmed by the routine.

Bottom Three

Alex – From the tip-top last week after his amazing hip-hop with Twitch to the Bottom 3 this week. All because of an unlucky injury. Phewy to the new rules. I’d rather Alex go the chance to stay on the strength of just that bad-quality video clip we saw of him getting injured. I’d lose BOTH Jose and Adechike (sorry guys) just so he could stay one more week and potentially stay on the show. But, luck (new new rules) being what it is, he’s in the Bottom 3. Hopefully, we’ll get some dramatically good news that he’s alright to dance next week. But there’s a very good chance they’ll decide to let him heal and he’ll be leaving this week. In which case, a lot of hearts will break and FOX stands to lose some of its audience, judging by some of the comments. We <3 Alex, that’s clear.

Jose – I really enjoyed his contemporary with Lauren a lot and I thought he did a’riiite in the Afro-jazz with Billy. But…there’s been a lot of Jose v. Adechike debate back and forth and in the company of titans, his time is running up, in my opinion. I think he may very well be in danger this week. Whether he goes home or not depends entirely on Alex’s injury and whether there’s a backlash from the judges’ soft critique of him the last few weeks.

Adechike – Is my least favorite dancer. He’s shown the least growth in my opinion (which is NOT to say he isn’t a great dancer) and he dances with *any* partner like they’re inanimate props. He’s got to work that out and I don’t see any improvement on that so far. There were elements I liked to his jazz with Courtney (the middle section side-by-side on the floor), but that girl was working her ass off to show him to advantage. His Bollywood was fine, but I couldn’t help thinking that he should’ve been dancing the “girl’s” role with Alex instead of the masculine role with Nakul’s assistant Mara. I liked the “African element” that Mia noticed – which means that I agree with her that it was there but disagree that it was a bad thing.

I can’t predict who I think is going home tonight because the one who I think is most likely to leave us is one of my favorites and I will.not.type.his.name. There’s a good chance I have the other two wrong and Robert’s in danger. And I honestly can’t predict which was the “backlash/sympathy vote” will go if it’s between Jose and Adechike (my best case scenario). What do y’all think?

Some last thoughts before I go –

-Cat should win an Emmy for hosting this show. She’s a defender, an anti-bullshit monitor, cheeky and funny, all while looking gorgeous in dresses and heels. Yay for her calling the judges on their inconsistent comments, as many of you said in the comments.

-I was SO GLAD to see the contestants dance together. I loved the packages, especially Alex sitting behind Adechike and faking like he was going to attack him and Billy outting Jose’s obsession with Lauren G.’s behind. Lol. Soooo great. I think it really brought out a new element to this season. But what a week for Alex to be sitting out! I missed him so much (and I am not alone). Consider this. We had two routines with two male dancers dancing together last night, but they were both contestants in both cases whereas Alex had to dance male/male choreography with an All-Star and he totally rose to the occasion.

-Which brings me to ALEX WONG! Please, please, please don’t have a ruptured Achilles tendon. But, if it is ruptured, I will endeavor to deal with you leaving the show because I want you to have a LONG career. But gosh, how heartbreaking it was to see you hanging your head and tearing up, but mainly being stoic in the face of a lot of pain and doubt.

-I know Marianya and I got a bit carried away wondering what was going on with Ashley and Neil and it turns out they’re both just great at having chemistry with their partners. BUT, there IS something going on between Lauren and Kent. Anybody disagree? Seems obvious now, after his expression when she picked him out of the hat and their actual routine. Or should I say AFTER their routine. Marianya told me that she’s suspected for a long time now that the two of them are together or something. C’mon Marianya, back me up and expand on your theory in the comments. πŸ™‚

-Nigel is a total perv (but Cat started it by referring to Lauren’s wardrobe mishap list week) and he’s annoying me. Mia is…I agree with her a lot, but it seems like she’s expressing herself in the most offensive way possible because she’s “strong” and “opinionated,” etc. Again, Cat totally made the show for me. All of her asides (“he just said he’s proud of you!”

-Ashley/Robert’s “dreaded Quickstep” TOTALLY reminded me of the Neil-Danny “2 princes” routine, and then Nigel mention it as well. I think it was even the same freaking chair and “sceptor of power,” though of course the choreography was different. Interesting.

-Comfort really has grown since her season. I was one of the haters who wasn’t sure she deserved the title “All-Star,” especially the first time having them back on the show. Same with Dom – he’s been impressing me with his routines, few though they are. It as great to have a bonus All-Star in Katee and have her back, though it sucked that Allison had to sit out cause I’m really loving seeing her dance. Pasha has such quiet strength and he’s so lovable!!! And my girls Lauren G., Kathryn and Courtney G. are so amazing! Sexy ladies! And strong! They’re three of my all-time favorite girls and I think they do a great job partnering the guys, but they’re also setting the gold standard for the two remaining girls. The All-Stars are such a wonderful element this season. I say once more – we should have a variety show in the fall with JUST alumni of the previous season and Cat emceeing. The judges can take a break (then we’ll miss them and be glad to have them back for the regular competition in the summer) and they can hold auditions for new contestants and a real tour in the hiatus.Β  C’mon, Nigel. We know you’re reading! You know my idea is good! Fall Variety show, summer competition show!

July 8, 2010 I Written By

SYTYCD S7 Top 9 Results Thoughts

Is it just me, or was that opening group number very sedate, all things considered? And by sedate, I mean… boring. Nothing really popped out at me. Sad to say.

I’m glad, glad, glad Ashley and Alex are safe and that they didn’t even really try to play that they were in danger.

Annoyed that Adechike is safe since I think he still deserves Bottom 3, despite last night’s nominal improvement. They probably had to scare Kent a bit…let’s see how he does next week.

When Lauren was sent to safety, I had a feeling both Billy and Robert were gonna be in the Bottom 3, that they were gonna play off the Billy or Robert thing they did going into the Top 10. When they were both in the Bottom 3, I was a little afraid for Robert, but I mostly just felt even more certain that Melinda was going home.

When it was between Melinda and Jose, I had a wild stray thought that Jose would be in the Bottom and we’d have a freaky all-male Bottom 3 this early in the season. Which would probably have meant Robert going home, if that had happened. But, then it was Melinda and I was pretty sure again that she was going home.

I looooove that they’re going to have the All-Stars re-dance some of their iconic routines. It’s like they heard all our talk and they listened to us. Makes me start thinking about what other routines we might see in the coming weeks.

So even though this results episode didn’t feel like it was much about the Season 7 contestants, I had a lot of dancing to enjoy anyway. Namely, the All-Stars. The Viva ELVIS spectacular was pretty awesome, and I enjoyed that Chris and Marquis got to dance again on the SYTYCD stage.

The solos went by in a blink. I enjoyed both Billy’s and Robert’s. And I was glad that Melinda danced acapella. I thought it was a bit fraudlent of Adam to pretend she even had a chance by offering advice on what she had to do to stay. That made me a bit sad.

I enjoyed the Ne-Yo performance a lot, too. It would’ve been cool if he danced with the All-Stars like last week’s performance with Debi Nova. But his dancers were a’right. πŸ™‚

So, I’m not surprised that the judges sent Melinda home. Or that the decision was unanimous. I thought it was a bit rude to tell Melinda by sending the other two to safety (they’ve done that before, though). They could’ve actually addressed her first, you know.

We’ve got to stop losing girls. We’ve only got 2 left and I really like both of them. So that’s it. Everyone, start voting for them, okay? I think we could thin out the herd of guys for a bit before we let either Ashley or Lauren be in danger again – k?

July 1, 2010 I Written By

SYTYCD Top 9 Performance Thoughts/Power Rankings

Once again, I’m going to combine my Top 9 performance thoughts and power rankings this week.

This one’s gonna be rough. Roouuuggggh. I’ve been reading a few of your comments to help me out here, but I’m still pretty confused.

Top Three

Alex – Is there any question? I think we can all agree on this one. And this is coming from me, the “hater” of hip-hop. Helllloooo…let’s just say I’m most likely to like hip-hop if it’s NappyTabs. And if Twitch is dancing, I’m always in love. But Alex is what made this routine, which was choreographed brilliantly for him and all, but he held his own with TWITCH BOSS! I mean, boss is in his name. πŸ™‚ And Alex killed it. Did you hear that audience? Cat kept saying it was the loudest crowd she’d even seen on the show. It sounded like they were in a stadium. I especially loved Mia’s, “Who the hell are you?” Even though, I’m not really that surprised Alex rocked because he’s just phenomenal. When I saw the SYTYCDism spoilers that Alex and Twitch were dancing together, I made very girly sounds. πŸ™‚

Billy – The judges came down hard on him (but they kinda have to, since he’s been a judge favorite all along, right?), but it was a gorgeous routine. Billy still has a lot of fans and I thought the combination of his mentioning Legacy as his role model, dancing with Kathryn (who danced with Legacy) and a powerful routine from Stacey Tookey put him up top. He was a bit stiff and arrogant while getting his feedback, I think, which makes me like him less. But the routine was lovely and his solo was strong as well. Overall, I think the judges were hard on him because they’re trying to give him a possibility at a “journey/arch” that he might not be perceived as having since he’s so technically good.

Ashley – When Top 11 started after Vegas Week, I was thinking, “Who is this girl?” I had no idea who she was. But I loooooooooove her now. Yes, she needs to dance something other than contemporary. But she’s been able to show something different in this routine and it was a chilling and wonderful routine with Ade. She has quickly become one of my favorites and will be my biggest solace when we probably lose the girl who has been one of my favorite from the beginning.

Middle Three

Robert -I love him. He got BIG cheers, supported Jose (yes he can, when Cat asked rhetorically if Jose could hold his own) and had great chemistry with Courtney. But, he danced with Courtney again to a blah-ish Sonya (not her best, at least) routine thatΒ  happened earlier in the show, which makes it sadly a bit forgettable. He was compared to Mark, however, and I think he does suit Sonya’s choreography. I hope it doesn’t put him in danger cause I loved when Sonya was taking America to task for not voting for Robert. He definitely deserves to stay.

Lauren – I thought it was a fun Broadway, and though I don’t always love her personality, I do enjoy her dancing. I thought both she and Neil were technically strong and had great lines, but there wasn’t a lot of chemistry between them. She’s starting to get a lot of flak, but a lot of people still really love her, I think. Also, I think the wardrobe malfunction and the resulting brou-ha-ha (“I enjoyed that tremendously,” and “I bet you did”) will make her stand out. She got a lot of time – and honestly kudos to her for carrying on with her entire strap dangling. I think that would have been just a bit distracting.

Kent – This is a tough call. It’ll either be Kent or Jose in this or the first Bottom 3 spot, in my opinion. But, they’re kinda on the same level, I think. Both didn’t dance strongly this week, both have huge fan bases. I do have to say I don’t think enough has been said about Dmitry’s phenomenal choreography here – smart and sexy work. While Jose got better feedback (and I liked his performance better), I think Kent’s fan base is a little more rabid AND I think that he’s perceived to have danced better in genres outside his own…

Bottom Three

Jose – Whereas Jose has been giving a lot of “Legacy choreography” – stunts within the choreo that show off his skillz and remind us why he’s on the show. I liked Jose’s performance tonight, but I agree with some of the comments I’ve seen that he didn’t do a lot of real dancing, more like excellent partnering. I think the routine (and most of his routines) have cleverly disguised his weaknesses and the judges are mostly glossing them over. So while I think he may be in the Bottom 3 tomorrow night, I think he’ll be a the “top” of the Bottom 3, which will mean he’ll be back next week.

Adechike – A lot of people are raving about his Dave Scott hip-hop tonight. After watching it back three times now, I think he made *some* improvement. But you know what? He had all the personality of a prop, to me. He might as well have not been there. The only times I noticed him was when he was being sloppy and cheesy. It’s kinda the reverse of Melinda for me – I don’t get the hate for her and a lot of people probably won’t get (or agree with) me putting him in the bottom 3. But honestly, I think that any little sign of improvement was going to be seen as a huge step for him because he danced like a stick with two beautiful women in his own genre in the weeks before this. I think he should be getting a lot of heat for that and I don’t care if he danced a slightly better hip-hop this week. I would’ve rather’d seen that routine with *anyone* other than him. Even not always loving hip-hop, I could see how that could be a great routine. With somebody else.

Melinda – I love her, but… it seems like I’m one of the few left who do. Especially if you count the judges. I thought Mia’s comment was so gross. What is the constructive point of telling her “we might have made a mistake keeping you” on national t.v.? Why not, “You didn’t dance your best, or as strongly as you needed to”? And, after watching the routine back, it galls me to admit this, but it was pretty awful. I enjoyed it in the moment, I did. I thought there were some especially awkward transitions into jumps, lifts and tricks and a moment that might’ve been choreographed or might’ve been a colossal mistake. I think the only thing that could save Melinda now is the sympathy vote after Mia’s ugly, pointless comment or if ALL of Melinda’s fans stay up all night voting for her.

I’m not happy about it, but I think Melinda’s going home. (Or maybe it’s a plot to use reverse-psychology are the voting audience….) I hope that it’s two guys in the bottom with her and I’m fairly confident in my picks. Though, as I said earlier today, I think we’re ripe for a shocker.

Some last thoughts before I go –

-I love that Cat’s talking more than ever – especially about the routines. Even if she’s not a dancer, she should get to put her 2 cents in after all the years she’s hosted and participated in the show. I like knowing what she thinks!

-I thought the solos were all pretty strong and interesting. I wasn’t thrilled with Ashley using the same music as last week’s group routine – I think it was too soon and indicated (whether this is fair or not) that she didn’t try as hard to be unique. Same thing with Adechike – he used at least the same song as his dance for his life in Vegas and it might have been the same solo, I’m not sure. I thought Lauren had the strongest solo of the girls and I was very impressed by Kent’s solo (his “new Billy Belly status” has never been clearer). I enjoyed Jose and Melinda’s solos quite a lot as well.

-The minute Alex’s footage started and up to the last minute on screen was some of the best SYTYCD has ever had to offer. Pure enjoyment. Even though Adam’s “This is your world and I’m just visiting” comment was regurgitated (Marianya reminded me he said it to Ashleigh last season), I think the emotion behind it was truly genuine. How could it not be? You could see the mass hysteria going on in that studio. I think NappyTabs were incredibly smart to forsake an easy route “battle” dynamic for this routine and in doing so, they made this an incredibly memorable routine, one that showcased both of its incredible dancers. If this is the quality of dancing we have to look forward to, I don’t mind *as much* that we’ll probably lose Melinda and be at 2-6 girls and guys.

-You know…some of the problem with this season’s female-male dynamic may originate with the choreographers. Hear me out… I suspect that the choreographers are just plain more inspired by the guys and they’re using the choreography to showcase and protect the guys, yet they’re not doing the same thing for the girls. Especially when you consider the enormous amounts of ballroom that the in-danger and eliminated girls have danced. The ballroom routines usually don’t have intense back stories, are very technically fussy and difficult, usually have less appealing music (hey, I’m considering the types of songs YOU tend to click on) and are a hit-or-miss when it comes to audience appreciation.

-Did you see Legacy on stage with all the dancers at the end? He and Kathryn seemed to have a bit of a reunion. πŸ™‚

Well, bring on my heat for all the cranky-puss comments about Ade. I know a lot of you are going to think I’m crazy for my power rankings this week, so time to hear it! πŸ™‚

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*Top 9 Performance Show Spoilers*

Hi all! So I know it’s the day of the show, but I’ve searched high and low this week for the spoilers and I finally found them! Courtesy of our fabulous friends at SYTYCDism
Read more..

June 30, 2010 I Written By

SYTYCD Top 10 Performance Thoughts/Power Rankings

I’m going to combine my Top 10 performance thoughts and power rankings this week.

Some of you may wonder how I come about my power rankings. Unlike my “thoughts” posts, the power rankings are not based upon my personal preferences. Though, on rare occasion, I have refused to put one of my favorite dancers in the Bottom 3, even though I knew they probably would be. πŸ™‚ I rank the dancers on my impression of how the performances go over with the voting audience, which takes into account, the dancer’s perceived popularity, the judges’ comments and the live audience reaction. And also, your comments. I take a look at what all of you are saying about the dancers and their performances and I keep that in mind as well.

I gotta say – this is the toughest job, trying to decide who’s gonna be in the bottom and maybe go home, especially this season. But, I’m always up for a challenge, so here I go….

Top Three

Lauren – She crossed oceans from where she was last week. While her performance wasn’t all that bad last week, her reaction to the judges turned off a lot of people. This week, she threw herself into her performance (not just the moves) and appeared humble and centered when facing the judges. She and Dominic are probably two of the silliest of all the dancers, yet they performed an intense, serious routine with heart and the respect that it deserved. I agreed that there wasn’t much to the “abuse” element of the piece – but I think that was in the choreography. It was Tessandra’s first competition choreography on the show, so she might have been straddling a very fine line. All of the real (forgive me) “punch” to the routine came from Lauren, in my opinion. She was whaling on Dominic. I was super impressed with them both. It was a great routine and Lauren’s got a solid fan base (and the good word of the judges), so I think she’ll be fine. [For those of you who know how bland hip-hop generally is to me, you might be surprised to see me say all this, but there you go.]

Jose – Everybody really seems to love Jose and he kinda won me over with this performance. He’s been one of the weaker dancers in my mind for a while, but I was really charmed and entertained my his Bollywood with Kathryn. They played up how he and Nakul were from such different worlds, but that’s kinda bullsh*t in my opinion. They seemed to understand each other pretty well, especially by the end. Bhangra, which is an Indian club dance style, has a lot in common with hip-hop. So, I think Jose held his own with Kathryn for the most part and particularly presented the character of the piece well. It was joyful, which is what made it so entertaining (much like Kent’s cha cha last week). His one greatest weakness this week was his arms while they were in the air. They didn’t seem to have the strength that they needed, but rather seemed to flap limply at times. But it seriously seems to be a stand-out routine (and it was for me, as well), so I think it is up there as one of the favorite routines. And he’s pretty popular, as far as I can tell.

Kent – This is the same situation as Jose (and Kent’s own performance last week). He drowns whatever weaknesses exist in exuberance and shear entertainment. He’s great. That being said, I think he did a great job with Courtney. I think he does a good job of taking on different characters of being dark and jazzy. And did you hear the audience cheer when they kissed at the end? And that doesn’t hurt, either, it was the last performance, so very memorable in several ways.

Middle Four

Ashley – I would like to put Ashley at the top because she’s quickly becoming one of my favorites. However, I think a lot of people are still on the fence about her, so I’m putting her here, at the top of the middle. I looooved her routine with Mark – I think she’s extremely lucky to have danced with two of the handsomest of the All-Stars already (and two of the strongest and most supportive). I was struck by her chemistry with Mark – apparently, that’s one of her strengths. So while I enjoyed her both last week and this week, I would love to see her dance something different. Maybe hip-hop with Twitch next? That would really keep her sexy partner trend going.

Robert – A lot of people seem to be on the fence about Robert, as well. I adore him. I think he’s wonderful. He had some crazy lifts in this routine with Anya – he got her so high up there and she’s not dramatically shorter than him (well, maybe that’s the heels). I disagreed with completely that Anya ate him up because I felt he met her as an equal in her own specialized style and there were times when he “dominated” as the male partner should in a tango. I think Anya had a point – that while she’s the expert between then, she needed a good partner in order to look as great as she did. If he hadn’t been strong, she would’ve been able to compensate for him, but it probably would have made her own performance suffer.

Alex – I loved this routine. I don’t think it had as much of the things that a lot of the audience look for (story, partnering, kick-ass music), but it did have music that was perfect for it, two phenomenal dancers and a friendly and sweet “anything you can do, I can do better”/battle feel to it. It reminded me of b-boy battles like Jose mentioned. They were doing tricks together, supporting each other and competing against each other – in the Broadway sense, which is a give and take. I thought Alex might be careful not to burn bridges back to the ballet world, but I love that he’s eager to learn whatever he can sink his teeth into and thrilled to be on the SYTYCD stage. And Lauren! Love that girl! πŸ™‚

Billy – His krump could have been a lot worse. That’s kind of it for me. I don’t love the style, I don’t adore Comfort and I agree with Nigel that the music is overbearing and repetitive. BUT. It was actually pretty enjoyable. And Billy represented a lot better than I (or anyone, probably) thought he would. But seriously, with his fan base, Billy could drop his partner off the stage and probably be safe. Though, he’s got to have some amazing routines in the next few weeks because I think people are starting to get tired of his (already high level) plateau.

Bottom Three

Adechike – He got a lot of flak last week for dancing poorly with a strong partner, great choreography and a phenomenal partner in his style. Yet, he wasn’t in the bottom 3. I think he’ll be there retroactively for last week’s routine, especially since he still paled in comparison to his gorgeous All-Star in his own style. It says something that he’s been lucky enough to get his own style twice with two extremely popular and strong partners and he can’t match them. I think in another season, he would’ve been given time and room to grow. But, in this season, I think he’ll be in the bottom 3. And if he is, I think he may go because of his first two weak performances and the judges will probably want to “match up” the numbers of guys and girls since there’s been outcry against an all-boy, 1-girl season (like American Idol).

Melinda – I love Melinda, but I recognize I’m in the minority here. Apparently. Attractive girls (especially without formal training) have a hard road to travel on this show. The voting block loves gorgeous guys and sometimes supports them longer than their talent deserves, but at the slightest bit of wobble, a lot of the gorgeous girls go. I recognize that Melinda’s one of the least technically strong, in many respects, but we love the “journeys” of the b-boys, don’t we? Why can’t we get behind a gorgeous female tapper who’s trying to learn different styles and kick ass in them? And guess what? She was amazing last night. She had great lines, especially for a “hoofer,” as the judges pointed out. The worst thing about her performance was her costume, which she can’t control. So, I don’t get the Melinda hate, but she’ll probably be here in the Bottom 3. I hope she survives, because I’d especially love to see her dance with Neil. It’d be great to see her dance hip-hop with Twitch.

Cristina – One of our readers said “Cristina just doesn’t do it for me,” and I have to second that emotion. Whereas I don’t get the Melinda hate and feel protective of her cause I wanna see her keep dancing on the show, Cristina is my least favorite of the dancers. She’s the one that feels the most flat and one-note. Her paso with Pasha was alright, but that was mostly due to Pasha for me. Plus, I feel that paso more than any of the other dances uses dramatic lighting and theatrical music/costumes to disguise the sameness of the choreography (often) and the weakness of the dancers. Don’t believe me? There were hardly any close shots of Cristina and Pasha dancing and they were almost all focused in on Pasha’s faces and expression, not Cristina’s. Almost the entire routine was shot in mid to long shots that enabled us to see the large movement and gestures, but nothing refined performance-wise. The last pose was gorgeous of course, which was helped enormously by the lighting. If she’s in the bottom 3 again, there’s a very good chance she’ll be eliminated this week.

So, all that being said, I generally believe in my bottom 3. I think that either Adechike will go home or the judges will give him one last chance (to try a style outside his specialty) and send him home next if he’s in the bottom (again). In which case, Cristina is probably going to be eliminated tonight.

Some last thoughts before I go –

-I’m with a lot of our readers who say that Nigel’s comment to Tyce, “That was jazz, thank you very much, Tyce” was horrifically rude to Travis and he looked so hurt/pissed when they panned to him. I would be, too. Honestly, I loved his routine, so big whoop if it’s not technically jazz. Speaking of Travis, I loved that we could hear him hollering happily at the end of Ashley/Mark’s routine. Love him.

-I love Mia, but she needs to stop making weird noises rather than offering real, solid criticism. She can leave the noises for her personal, private discussions with the dancers, in my opinion. I think they do understand that language of hers, but I think it’d help them more if it was on a one-to-one level rather than while they’re on stage. Also, she is one of the worst for favoritism. She ragged on Melinda’s costume (which she can’t control), and then said to Kent, “Was that Bollywood? I don’t know, but I don’t care.” I get it – I have favorites, too. I’d probably be the same way. But she’s a permanent judge, not an audience member.

-Cat was in fine form tonight. I loved her comments about her massive head (with the hat) and how it’s ridiculous that Kent grew up in the 90s. But, I have to say…her comment about “Would you like to go deeper, Dominic,” disturbed me. As did his hand kind of petting her shoulder while Lauren was standing between them getting her criticism. Loved when she asked if sexy Kent was in there and Kent said, “yeaaaaah.” Lol. She has the best repartee with the contestants – that never changes.

-I’m really, really glad they decided to have the All-Stars stand on stage with the contestants through the criticism and are sorta letting them talk and offer support. It was too weird having them run off stage before we got to catch up with them a little. It’s one of my favorite parts of how the new format is developing, so I hope it continues.

Tell me what you think, as always!

June 24, 2010 I Written By